A few weeks into lockdown, VICE UK put a call out to some of our favourite photographers. We wanted submissions for photo essays that reflect the time we're living in – but interesting, imaginative projects, not just "I'm stuck inside, here are some pictures of my cheese-plant".
Luckily, because the photographers we reached out to are all interesting and imaginative people, we got a ton of great ideas back, which we've whittled down to ten final projects. We're running one every week for ten weeks, to be followed by an exhibition you can stage in your very own home (details on that to come).
The second project, "PPE", is by Myles Loftin, who has kindly explained it for you below.
"I started this series after seeing a bunch of memes online showing people wearing all sorts of funny-looking masks made out of non-traditional materials. Things like water bottles, watermelons, even the Holy Bible. I also noticed that, around my neighbourhood, people were wearing masks made out of household materials. Bandanas, silk scarves, socks. They weren’t as silly as those I'd seen on the internet, but they still weren't medical grade masks, and probably not good enough to protect against the virus.
"I went to the dollar store and started collecting items that I thought could be used to make PPE (personal protective equipment) to potentially fight off COVID-19. I shot six different self portraits with DIY PPE I made from the dollar store items I purchased. I wanted these photos to highlight the absurdity of this 'equipment', but also call to attention the overwhelming lack of resources that have been provided to communities in need during the pandemic."